Karl Lagerfeld
Source: Getty Images

Some Aren't Happy That This Year's Met Gala Theme Honors Karl Lagerfeld

Melissa Willets - Author

Jan. 18 2023, Published 4:54 p.m. ET

Content warning: This article contains mentions of anti-gay, racially insensitive, and body-shaming rhetoric.

In October of 2022, it was announced that the Met Gala 2023 theme was to be inspired by the former creative director of Chanel and Fendi, Karl Lagerfeld. While the late designer’s fashion aesthetic is revered by many people around the world, his worldview and subsequent comments on everything from weight to race are considered indefensible by even more folks.

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As the May 1, 2023, Met Gala — which attracts the likes of Kim Kardashian and, well, everyone famous in fashion, sports, and entertainment — draws near, let’s take a beat to dig deeper into how Karl offended almost everyone while he was alive, and what social media is saying now that the iconic event has decided to pay tribute to him.

So what is the Karl Lagerfeld controversy, anyway?

Anna Wintour
Source: Getty Images

Anna Wintour

Vogue confirmed that the Met Gala 2023 would honor Karl, with co-chairs to include Michaela Coel, Dua Lipa, and Anna Wintour, just shy of four months before the annual fashion feist for the eyes. Per BuzzFeed, the gala will be complemented by an exhibition at the famous museum that plans to showcase 150 of the designer’s iconic pieces along with their original sketches.

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Right away, comments to Vogue's Instagram post pointed out the controversial comments that characterized Karl’s life as much as his designs. “Remember that time Karl said models should be ok with being touched inappropriately because it’s part of the job?” one account demanded, while another Instagram user seethed, "I hate this theme so much. He was brilliant, but horrid and scornful.”

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What were Karl Lagerfeld’s most problematic comments?

(l-r): Pete Davidson and Kim Kardashian attending the 2022 Met Gala together.
Source: Getty Images

Kim Kardashian and Pete Davidson at the 2022 Met Gala

Although he died in 2019, people are still talking about Karl’s many deeply-upsetting viewpoints, which it seems he never flinched before sharing, per Page Six and CNN. That quote an Instagram commenter alluded to when the Met Gala 2023 theme was confirmed? It’s this gem: "If you don't want your pants pulled about, don't become a model! Join a nunnery, there'll always be a place for you in the convent. They're recruiting even!"

Karl also famously and offensively opined about fans who expressed concern that models are too thin, "These are fat mummies sitting with their bags of crisps in front of the television, saying that thin models are ugly.” Another comment that ruffled countless feathers went like this: "Sweatpants are a sign of defeat. You lost control of your life so you bought some sweatpants.”

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Twitter reaction to Karl Lagerfeld controversy

From anti-Islamic comments to slamming gay marriage, let’s just say that no one was safe from Karl’s loose lips. Notably, he once said per Fox News, “I’m against it (gay marriage) for a very simple reason: In the 60's, they all said we had the right to the difference. And now, suddenly, they want a bourgeois life. For me it’s difficult to imagine — one of the papas at work and the other at home with the baby. How would that be for the baby? I don’t know.”

Ultimately, with Twitter users also pushing back on the theme, we’ll see if the powers that be adjust their thinking about honoring Karl at the upcoming Met Gala.

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